Commissioners denied the permit, 4-0, with Commissioner JoAnn Birrell removed herself from voting because of her background in waste management and recycling.
The vote was taken after the applicant’s attorney argued the center’s case and four community members spoke in opposition. There was no discussion amongst commissioners before the vote.
“The zoning is not compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and is not compatible with revitalization, public health, property values, negative effect and environmental issues,” Cobb Chairman Tim Lee said before making the motion to deny the application.
Even though the land is approved for heavy industrial use, opponents claimed the facility would create too much noise and pollution and did not fit with the community’s future growth.
The applicant, Snapfinger Properties LLC, had already been processing metals at the site since December and had been cited for code violations, opponents said.
Parks Huff of Marietta law firm Sams, Larkin & Huff, attorney for Snapfinger Properties, said local agencies had already approved its environmental and traffic impact.
Huff also said the facility would not operate as frequently as the location on Marble Mill Road in Marietta, using only two to four employees to compress about 2,000 tons of metal per month, compared to daily like some other facilities.
Metal would arrive on trucks eight to 10 times per day and would be shipped out using a freight train, which runs through the property, he said.
“The traffic this facility would generate is significantly less than others around the area or what the property could be used for,” Huff said. “It would produce negligible amounts of noise.”
Opponents such as Carol Brown of Canton Road Neighbors said the facility did not fit in with the changing face of the neighborhood.
She said the community has gone through revitalization in the last seven years, bringing in more residential areas and giving the industrial district a facelift.
“The long-term trend has been toward suburban areas, offices, schools and retail,” Brown said, pointing out the growth on a map. “There’s really an island of industrial use.”
David Allen Roberts, board member and attorney for East Cobb Baseball, which is located north of the industrial site, said the facility is already a nuisance.
“The noise generated is immense. It sounds like thunder rolling off the hills,” he said. “We depend upon a safe, clean and desirable location for baseball participants.”
East Cobb Civic Association President Jill Flamm, who also spoke in opposition to the application, said she was pleased with the commissioners’ decision.
“It was the right thing to do,” she said. “Not just because of the underlying zoning reasons, but they have a history of not being good neighbors.”
The company has 120 days to cease its operations on the site.